Rich, walnut-studded layers of chocolate cake filled with fluffy chocolate mousse, topped with fresh whipped cream and decadent ganache. Mmmm....
It was Rob's birthday and I wanted to make him a cake, but didn't want a huge thing that would a) make us fat, or b) sit uneaten in the fridge in avoidance of making us fat. So I made this little cake instead. Super rich, yes, but small enough that it wasn't overwhelming.
As you can see, my decorating skills leave something to be desired, but I'm sure this could be a very presentable dessert if appropriate patience and effort were applied. I'm just gonna blame the wine this time.
Start by making the chocolate cake- I did this two days ahead of time and kept the cakes in their pans in the freezer. Even if you do it the day of, I recommend allowing for a couple hours of freezing time so that they are easier to handle.
What you need:
7 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
Heavy cream (if needed)
3 tablespoons Kahlua
2 eggs, separated
1-2 teaspoons powdered sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the chocolate and the butter over a double boiler (or a Pyrex bowl set into a small saucepan), stirring frequently. Add the sugar and stir until smooth (if this is too think and starting to seize up, add a splash of heavy cream to smooth it out). Add the Kahlua and let cool a bit. While it cools, beat the egg whites with the powdered sugar until firm peaks form. Go back to your chocolate mixture. Add a tablespoon of this to the egg yolks and stir it in. Add the salt to this and then add the egg yolk mixture to the chocolate mixture. Fold in the egg whites. Pour the batter into three greased 4 x6 pans (I bought those aluminum ones that can be thrown away). Bake for 30 minutes. The cake will still look a little wet in the middle, but shouldn't be jiggly. Let cool and then freeze for at least a couple hours.
NOW, on to the rest of the cake:
Half of a batch of chocolate mousse, chilled (see recipe here.)
3 layers of flour-less chocolate cake, chilled, see recipe below.
Chocolate ganache (heat half a cup of cream until just boiling, then add 2/3 cup bittersweet baking chocolate or dark chocolate chips, stir until smooth)
Chocolate garnishes (chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips)
Spoon a 3/4-1 inch thick layer of mousse on top of one of the cake layers (still in pan). Carefully remove one of the other layers from its pan and place on top of mousse layer. Repeat with more mousse and the other cake layer. Spoon a bit more mousse on top and freeze the cake for an hour or two. When ready to eat, remove from pan, placing it upside down on a serving plate. Top with a layer of whipped cream and Drizzle the chocolate ganache over the cake and the plate. Garnish with additional chocolate-y things or whatever you like. Slice and serve. Enjoy!